Edwards on the Psalms

Edwards on the Psalms

In preparation of my own heart for preaching a second message on the psalms, I perused one of Jonathan Edwards’ sermons on Psalm 89:6. It is entitled, “God’s Excellencies.” I recommend a read of the whole sermon. It details how God, and his specific attributes of excellence, should motivate us to respond to him in repentance and in worship. Below is merely a few excerpts that might prove helpful as God’s people prepare to gather together to worship God in his excellency on the Lord’s Day. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord, and who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? Psalms 89:6 This book of Psalms has such an exalted devotion, and such a spirit of evangelical grace every[where] breathed forth in it! Here are such exalted expressions of the gloriousness of God, and even of the excellency of Christ and his kingdom; there is so much of the gospel doctrine, grace, and spirit, breaking out and shining in it, that it seems to be carried clear above and beyond the strain and pitch of the Old Testament, and almost brought up to the New. Almost the whole book of Psalms has either a direct or indirect respect to Christ and the gospel which he was to publish…   The infinite excellency, greatness, and glory of God is the foundation of all religion, for except we believe the perfections of God, we shall never worship him and love him as he ought to be worshipped and loved; except we believe his power and justice and holiness, we shall not...
Preparing for Sunday – Psalms, Part 2

Preparing for Sunday – Psalms, Part 2

Below is the weekly post our church produces to help prepare our congregation for the Sunday morning gathering. Each summer, I take time to preach overview sermons through the Old Testament. We began last week in Psalms. This week we’ll look at a few more significant take-aways from this beautiful book. For those who live in the Kansas City metro area, we invite you to come to Summit Woods Baptist Church at 10:30 am. Carefully Think Last week we considered the book of Psalms as a whole. This week we will focus on how the Psalms affects our faith in God. Look through several headings of several psalms in each of the five sections of the book. List some of the musical terms that you see referred to (i.e.., “to the choirmaster,” “maskil,” “mahalat,” etc.). While it is difficult (if not impossible) to know what these refer to specifically, what do they indicate about the importance of music and how these psalms were to be played? Read through the following psalms: 7, 35, 58, 69, 85, 109, 137. What does the psalmist say about his enemies? Why does this not contradict the gospel of Jesus in the New Testament? Or does it? If you think so, explain. Read through the following psalms: 2, 8, 22, 69, 110. These are often referred to as Messianic psalms; those that speak of the coming of the Messiah. What characteristics do you learn about the Messiah? What indicators are there in each passage that this refers to the future Messiah and not someone else? Prayerfully Meditate  If the book of Psalms is an ancient...
Be Unashamed – T4G 2014

Be Unashamed – T4G 2014

I had the joy of attending last week’s Together for the Gospel conference. I could (and no doubt at some point should) list a series of personal blessings from the conference, but in this post, I want to merely encourage you to engage in some of the content for yourself. Below are a few of the moments of the week I found deeply encouraging. The Testimonies This is one of several. You should watch them all. Two Marriages from Together for the Gospel (T4G) on Vimeo. The Messages While all of the messages were excellent and encouraged and convicted me in unique ways, here are those I found most impactful: Never Spoke a Man Like This Before: Inerrancy, Evangelism and Christ’s Unbreakable Bible, Kevin DeYoung The Gospel by Numbers, Ligon Duncan Mass Defection: The Great Physician Confronts the Pathology of Counterfeit Faith, John MacArthur Persuading, Pleading and Predestination: Human Means in the Miracle of Conversion, John...
What Are You Doing With Your Sundays?

What Are You Doing With Your Sundays?

For the past number of weeks, I have been suggesting practical steps you can take to deepen your discipleship in Christ, primarily through engaging in closer relationships with others. I have emphasized you and one or two others getting together to challenge, encourage, pray, and study. In talking about small group or more personal means of discipleship, one might think that discipleship is best accomplished by these means. While such personal means of discipleship are necessary, they must come in tandum with your participation in what we could call corporate discipleship. In fact, I do not think you can define discipleship apart from your participation in the life of a local church. What is involved in what I am referring to as corporate discipleship? While there is much I could say, consider the following elements: Commit yourself to giving Sundays to God’s people. Consider clearing your calendar of any other significant events other than gathering and engaging with God’s people. Why not? Make it your aim to have the gathering of the church be the most important, time-consuming, focus of your day. Plan on having lunch with someone from church. Plan to engage with someone from church on Sunday evening, or attending the evening service. Do not limit your thinking, expectations, or schedule to a small portion of the day. The more significantly you engage the church on each Lord’s Day, the more significantly your relationships with others will grow. Singing with Understanding and Zeal With the Congregation. Our staff seeks, in advance, to inform the church each week about what songs we will sing. We provide links to...
Preparing for Sunday – Matthew 13:44-52

Preparing for Sunday – Matthew 13:44-52

Carefully Think Read Matthew 13:44-52 List the parables described here. What are the similarities between each of the parables? What are the differences? What is the emphasis of the first two parables that do not have a stated explanation? What is the emphasis of the thrid parable that is explained? What are the new and old things that Jesus is referring to in the last parable (vv 51-52)? How is this final parable (vv 51-52) a good summary of the three parables before it? Of all the parables in chapter 13? Prayerfully Meditate How do you see your participation in God’s kingdom similar to the man who found the hidden treasure and the merchant who discovered the valuable pearl? The disciples could identify themselves with the parables (v 51). How do you personally identifiy with each of these parables? What is it about the kingdom of God that you find overwhelmingly, joyfully, compelling that you would give up everything to have it? How do you cultivate and maintain such a compelling joy in the things related to God’s kingdom? Intentionally Act Do you find anything in your life distracting you from the deepest joy in the kingdom of God? How can you focus your heart on the kingdom this week? What will you do? How will you respond? How could you use this passage as a means to encourage someone else? Who would that be in your life? Make plans in your heart and schedule to do that this week. Pray for those who will be in attendance Sunday do not love God’s kingdom like the man who finds...
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